NHLPA backs Russia on transfer agreement
The NHL Players Association is siding with Russia in opposing the 2007-08 transfer agreement between the NHL and IIHF, according to an announcement posted today on the official Russian Hockey Federation web site.
The 2006-07 transfer agreement, which has lapsed, provided that any European team must let any of their players go to the NHL at any time for a return fee of $200,000.
The 2007-08 agreement has the support of all of the European federations (save for Russia, which has refused to sign off on the agreement since the 2005-06 season), but the NHL cannot sign off on the agreement without the support of the NHLPA.
The NHLPA's stated reason for not signing is that the agreement "is not in the best interests of the players of the NHL." Negotiations for a new agreement, which would have to be resubmitted to the European federations, are on-going.